Tonight’s YouGov poll for the Sun has topline figures of CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%. The eight point lead is the lowest Labour lead for a week from YouGov, but it’s well within the normal margin of error for the ten point leads that YouGov have been typically showing since the budget and cash4access story.

Also out today was some new polling for Lord Ashcroft (which I assume was conducted by Populus, certainly the cross-breaks match Populus’s house style). This has topline figures, with changes from Populus’s poll a week ago, of CON 32%(-2), LAB 41%(+3), LDEM 11%(nc), Others 16%(nc), producing a nine point lead for Labour.

Ashcroft also reasked the Populus party image questions from a week ago, finding some sharp drops in perceptions of the party. The proportion who thought the Conservatives were “honest and principled” was down 6 points to 27%, “competent and capable” down 9 points to 37%, “for ordinary people, not just the better off” down 8 to 23%, “has clear ideas” down 7 points to 37% and “has a good team of leaders” was down 9 points to 37%.

Slightly more surprisingly most of Labour’s ratings were also down – including a 7 point drop in the people who think they have a good team of leaders and the proportion who think they are united. They also fell on being honest, competent and having clear ideas. Perhaps the people who responded to the survey were just a more cynical lot than Populus’s sample a week ago, or perhaps stories about party funding just re-inforce negative perceptions of all parties.


163 Responses to “YouGov/Sun – CON 34%, LAB 42%, LDEM 8%”

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  1. Perfectly consistent with a widening Lab lead. I did expect Lab VI to drop more after Bradford W, but the press didn’t let do of grannygate/pastygate/fuelgate, and in truth it is the -gates that create the image of a government out of control of the message and direction, not whether or not GG won in Bradford (although I would have preferred him not to have done so, obviously).

  2. First?

  3. Ashcroft seems determined to kick Dave and George when they are down- how long will this feud continue?

    Voters still deserting the Tories rather than thronging to Labour. EdM needs to get some detailed polices out there- especially on economic policy/ industrial policy and employment policy.

    As Peter Kellner asked the other day: does this lead have any legs i.e. will it still be with us in 3 months?

    My money is it won’t.

  4. Damn you Tark, damn you! Beaten with a proper reply too, the shame.

  5. When you gotta type, you gotta type fast :)

    Better luck next time, Berious!

  6. @Rob Sheffield
    It depends what you mean by legs. Three weeks ago nobody was forecasting a solid week of 10-ish Lab leads following one gaffe after another from the govt (esp Con).

    The two Eds have not presented detailed policies – why should they? We have three years before the GE, and everyone knows that you don’t set up Aunt Sallys for the other side to snipe at for longer than you have to.

    EdM has been good – Bradford W notwithstanding – at shifting the mood music Lab’s way. In summer 2010 one of the polls noted that Lab has the biggest pool of potential voters, and creating a welcoming ambience for them smoothes the way.

    I’m not sure Lab’s lead is as fragile as souffle, but it is jolly nice to have had 17 months of almost constant leads. Doesn’t hurt one bit.

  7. The permanent damage to the Con vote since health bill/budget week seems to be minor. This poll has the 2010 Con switch to Lab up at 7% again – but then 2010 Lab to Con at 4%. So only a 3% net difference.

    All the rest of the damage to the 2010 Con vote is to don’t know or UKIP – both very reversible one expects.

  8. @ Robbie Alive

    I’m grateful for your comments regarding sentence structure. I will consider them carefully. But not the hyphen thing. IMO, hyphens are over-used now-a-days & I intend to ration my use of them. ;-)

  9. @Rob

    That’s almost certainly true. However, unless the Coalition splits, it is difficult to see how Labour can get more than about 44% anyway. Two parties versus one on almost every issue is always going to lead the public to have reservations about the one.

  10. @ AW
    ” … the survey were just a more cynical lot than Populus’s sample..”

    Wow! an apostrophe rendered in the old-fashioned, double-s format. Little wonder that he’s the boss!

  11. “Soberingly, 49% said the Conservative Party was the “most likely to give donors a say over its policies in return for large donations”, compared to 27% who thought it true of Labour. (Only 5% think donors to the Liberal Democrats give money in return for policy influence, but then, what would be the point?)”
    ——————————-
    A quote from the Populus commentary. It made me LOL, so I thought I’d share it with folks who haven’t made the trip to the Populus site. :twisted:

  12. Yes but he blew it with “cash4access”. Should have been cash-4-access.

  13. Populus is Con 30%, Lab 42%, LD 10% before they start to reallocate the DKs.

  14. @TARK

    “EdM has been good – Bradford W notwithstanding – at shifting the mood music Lab’s way.”

    Sorry, but I don’t see that. I see Lab picking up Lib Dem VI and the Con VI reducing, but not necessarily to Lab.

  15. Any reason why the yougov poll for the sun from yesterday is not shown.
    Cheers Di

  16. You have to admit that the Con 35/36% is pretty resilient.

    But if Lab can stay over 40% it’s all over bar 3 years of slash & burn.

  17. This Tory VI seems to be lurking in the 31-34% Michael Howard country in all the polls now and it’s obvious from the sub-question responses in both the Populus and ComRes polls that, for the first time in this Parliament, they’ve taken some very serious hits. However, whereas Labour have clearly benefited in terms of voting intentions, they haven’t appeared to get a reciprocal boost on the key questions on competence and credibility. What appears to have happened is that the Tories have sunk to Labouresque levels which in itself is not entirely bad news for Labour but, if the lead is to widen to the 15-20% margin, then they’re going to have to do something about the lingering negative perceptions that the public appear to still about them.

    Unless and until they do so, I suspect the lead will remain a little flaky although, let’s be honest, there is always a lot of fun to be had in opposition from watching the Government swinging in the wind!

  18. Let’s face it, the conservatives have had a terrible fortnight, in politics. They couldnt have chosen a more stupid moment to make those mistakes. First the budget was seen as unfair, then the whole pasty-nonsense came, and then the stupidity of the government over fuel came.
    And now they seem to have got themselves in trouble once again, over email spying this time. the problem is, in 4 weeks time boris johnson is or isnt chosen as mayor of london, and its of course very important to win this hugely important election, especially as Red Ken is viewed as the weaker candidate. If Boris cant win in London, some will doubt whether Cameron can win from HIS weak opponent, Ed Miliband.

    However, as the newspapers will not haunt the government forever, the bad headlines will soon disappear, it is of course pretty damn stupid to suggest that Labour can be confident of winning the next GE.
    We all know, that when under pressure, Cameron generally performs better, see AV, see Riots.
    And bearing in mind that the British economy seems to grow, the PMI (one of the most important guidelines to how the economy performs) rose unexpectedly fast.

    As ever in 2015, the government will not be judged about a stupid fortnight in the spring of 2012, but will be judged on the performance of the UK’s economy on the 7th of June 2015.

    There is, however, one big condition: cameron must act before it’s too late. He must show his willingness to fight the incompetence we saw since the Budget. If he does not, than the Conservatives’ reputation will be damaged severely.

  19. Hague is top of the popularity pops (Osborne is bottom; yes, he scores slightly less than Nick).

    The dream team appears to be Hague as leader with Ken Clarke as chancellor. Back to the future?
    8-)

  20. @MAXBOERE

    “If Boris cant win in London, some will doubt whether Cameron can win from HIS weak opponent, Ed Miliband. ”

    If Ken wins, would it be better for the Lab or the Con VI in two years time?

  21. @ Anthony

    Perhaps the people who responded to the survey were just a more cynical lot than Populus’s sample a week ago, or perhaps stories about party funding just re-inforce negative perceptions of all parties.
    ————————————-
    I think we’ll have to plump for Party funding being the issue. Because it is the perception of Parties which has sunk, almost across the board.

    But for political individuals, with the exception of a teensy fall for Dave & George, all are up. The 2 Eds are +5 each; Cable & Clarke +4 each; Hague & Clegg +2 each. Which isn’t what I’d expect from a more cynical sample population.
    8-)

  22. @ Hal

    Yes but he blew it with “cash4access”. Should have been cash-4-access.
    ——————-
    He was simply adhering to the new hyphen rationing policy which I have introduced (see my earlier post about hyphens).
    :-)

  23. @Amber Star – “A quote from the Populus commentary.”

    Isn’t that commentary is written by the noble Lord himself?

    Anyway, it continues with some style and expression:

    “It is pretty galling to find the Conservatives, who absolutely do not trade cash for policy influence, are nevertheless thought more likely to do so than Labour, who do it quite openly.”

  24. @Statgeek

    That’s an interesting question! Initially, the people will say that it was Labour’s night, as, in that case they will have won London and the council elections. It’s very hard to imagine the Conservatives pulling off a result as good as the elections of last year. I’d be surprised, but with Ed in place, you’ll never know…

    if they win both the london election and the council elections, labour will get a wave of positive coverage, and I wouldnt be surprised if that would create a permanent 10-point-lead for labour in the polls, for at least three months. Also, on the whole, it would be positive for labour, as ed miliband and ken would help each other.

    on the other hand, both politicians are not seen as especially trustworthy or competent, so in that case you’d get the same situation as right now: now you have the Two Eds that are preventing labour from getting above 45 percent, in that case you’d have The Two Reds preventing Labour from improving further.

    so, very interesting indeed

  25. “It is pretty galling to find the Conservatives, who absolutely do not trade cash for policy influence, are nevertheless thought more likely to do so than Labour, who do it quite openly.”

    urrgh

  26. @ Billy Bob

    You are correct. It’s not the Populus site, it’s Lord Ashcroft’s. I find a lot of what he writes is very amusing. But I’m still not going to vote for his Party. :-)

  27. @ Nick P

    Labour, who do it quite openly.
    ———————–
    That’s the point which Lord Ashcroft doesn’t want to ‘get’.

    The voters tell him: Let the Parties take gigantic donations from the devil himself, provided they say openly: The Devil gave us £1M & we’ve promised to lower duty on brimstone – not the tyres, this isn’t a Jeremy Clarkson analogy. :twisted:

    The issue is transparency, not Party funding.

    Obviously, I think that Labour & the Unions need to do much more to educate the public about the strict rules which govern Union political funds & the donations which they make to politicians & Parties.

  28. Rob S.

    This issue about disaffected Tories not swinging to Labour.

    AW posted some superb data a few months ago on voters’ self-placement on the right-left political spectrum. I extracted some graphs from those data and stuck them up here. One of the most striking features was the quite significant rightward drift of the Tory voters’ self-image.

    I asked at the time and I haven’t yet heard a convincing reply: what is Labour expected to do to pick up the votes of people who see themselves at 7+ on a scale where 0=far left and 10=far right?

    I’ll give you my two pennorth. Labour can do next to nothing to pick them up, without becoming a party that is not Labour in anything but name. I’ll give you another ha’pennorth. Labour doesn’t need to pick them up.

    What Labour MUST do is to focus on retaining the couple of million or so voters that it chucked away to the LDs as Blair’s feet turned out to be made of clay, but has attracted back over the last 18 months. Those are the ones who really matter.

    The Tories have been incapable of seriously breaching 40% for prolonged periods for the last two decades. They couldn’t do it in the most propitious of circumstances in 2010 and the current drip-drip of “events” is making it less likely by the week that they will be able to do so in 15. So, if Labour CAN hold onto the prodigals that they lost between Iraq and the Great Crash, they are in the box seat for at least being the largest party in 15.

    Whilst I’m pontificating, I’ll chuck another one into the pot. I’ve said for a while now that the current socio-politico-economic conditions bear more resemblance to the mid/late 70s than they do to any other post-war period. Following the inconclusive Oct 74 GE, a weak Labour party just about held on to its GE vote share in polls for a couple of years, just like the Tories have done now. Labour had a minor poll VI boost 18 months in (Wilson’s resignation) , just like this one did (the EU veto-{sic}).

    20-odd months in, Labour’s VI fell off a cliff as its competence was brought sharply into question (IMF bail-out). Maybe, just maybe, the last fortnight has been the turning point where the Tories’ competence has flown the coop. In any case, the VI parallels between 74-76 and 10-12 are quite astonishing. The ruling parties’ post-GE honeymoon, subsequent year-long statis, brief rise in popularity and sudden drop in VI as competence was questioned match in magnitude and timing remarkably. When I’ve got a bit more time, I’ll post some graphs later this week.

    And of course, all through the mid/late 70s, a thoroughly disliked and patently unelectable LoO (not attractive to look at, unpleasant voice, hectoring, and a bloody WOMAN for God’s sake) was carefully and covertly sniping from the sidelines, sniffing the wind and supporting the public’s gut feeling that the generation-long agreement had failed, and that the ruling lot were part of the past problem. Never raising her head above the parapet and saying in too much detail what she would do (why give an easy out to a beleaguered Govt by taking attention off their travails?) And consistently, remorselessly, if unspectacularly, keeping up VI poll figures 8-15% higher than her predecessor had polled at the previous GE.

  29. amber

    It just leaves me speechless. It’s not a matter of “getting” anything, it’s just lies, lies, lies.

  30. Robbiealive – “Wow! an apostrophe rendered in the old-fashioned, double-s format.”

    It’s what having a surname that ends in an s does to you. After a while you tire of people ascribing your things to the mysterious Anthony Well.

    David – as a general rule I don’t put a post up for every YouGov daily poll. There are only so many different ways one can write “no significant change from yesterday”.

  31. @Maxboere – “However, as the newspapers will not haunt the government forever, the bad headlines will soon disappear, it is of course pretty damn stupid to suggest that Labour can be confident of winning the next GE.”

    I would agree that predicting the next GE now is a mugs game, but I wouldn’t be so quick to lump newspapers with the blame for Tory woes.

    Today’s security policy announcement and U turn in a matter of hours is the latest in a series of dreadful government [email protected] ups. This doesn’t appear to be simple presentational gaffs or rogue minister going off piste. As with the granny tax and the tanker drivers strike threat response, these are fundamental failures to see the picture. they smack of a much more serious malaise than the press deciding to have a bit of a go.

    Cameron’s leadership of the Tory party is developing into a fascinating curate’s egg. There are times when he is nimble, sure footed and very adroit, but there are periods where he is just shockingly inept. It’s worth recalling New Year 2010. He announced that in the weeks ahead there would be a ‘blizzard of new policies’. That was when we started to see his lead start to slip and everyone wondered if he was up to the job of being a PM.

    He’s going through a similar phase now, except much, much worse.

  32. Not a partisan comment. But has any recent government announcement been successfully made and reasonably well received ?

    I don’t know who advises the government on communication strategy at the moment, but I think they need to move on and let someone else have a go.

    We have government policy announcements leaked to the press, followed by denials from ministers about their plans, which are still subject to discussion. They then come out with the recent excuse that they are in coalition, making formulating policy much more difficult. This is just not true, as many Tory backbenchers are not happy with some policies. Surely better to have debates in parliament in government time, on the back of releasing a white and/or green paper and then to take forward a policy.

  33. R HUCKLE

    ” Surely better to have debates in parliament in government time, on the back of releasing a white and/or green paper and then to take forward a policy.”

    It seems reasonable to assume that you haven’t been studying the political process in Westminster (or anywhere else, for that matter) at any time, now or at any time in the past.

  34. @R Huckle – “… making formulating policy much more difficult.”

    Something from Alistair Campbell’s blog:

    “My partner bumped into a senior civil servant who works in a major government department earlier this week. He said one of the worst things about the Chancellor and other ministers is that they have next to no interest in hard analysis of the impact of policy. They want analysis that confirms their ideology, nothing else. So when Osborne says his policies are working, he believes it, because of the dozen papers alerting him to what is happening, he picks out the one that confirms his original view.”

    Another, comment I read last week (from Rentoul or Richards) was that Cameron is “incurious”. He is not “lazy” as some people claim – he is very well briefed and reads everything that is put before him – but he never asks for anything more.

  35. Forget about 2015, I don’t even think that Labour will hold onto this 8-10 point lead until May. Boris will be re-elected, and Labour will make small gains, not big enough to get excited about but big enough to be trumpeted. The whole thing will be a 1992-esque anticlimax. Here’s hoping this post looks stupid a month from now.

  36. it’s a swing from LibLabCon to UKIP/stay at home as we saw after the big expenses problem we had a couple of years ago. Labour lose least because they’re not in power and aren’t kicking any grannies with extra taxes. Anyone in power right now would have to consider such things, or making school meals for poor children smaller, etc.

    I reckon we are properly in mid-term so the government can be relatively more unpopular without worrying. Although no government would want to be 8% behind for long.

  37. BILLY BOB……..Alistair Campbell’s blog…..he quotes his partner, quoting a civil servant, now there’s a reliable source ! :-)

  38. Aye, aye.

    Who was who said that a Big Society re-launch was on the cards to take attention away from the cock-ups, manifold and widespread?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17602323

  39. @Ken

    Gossip… that’s what civil servants do. They wouldn’t want to go making a statement to the press now would they? ;)

  40. Lefty

    On the matter of retaining the LibDem exodus- IMHO:

    I think Nick Clegg and the LD leadership have done/ are doing/will keep doing all that is needed to retain the vast majority of them as Lab voters.

    At the same time Lab needs to work on winning over those still in the yellows column (or should that be ‘orange’) and the few ‘wets’ left supporting the blues.

    As OP’s continuously have shown now for several decades: the hard left ‘vote’ in England is around 2% and is therefore neither here nor there when it comes to winning an election. EdM needs a majority at the next GE because the yellows are committed to Osbornes post 2015 heightened austerity plans and will hold out for that in any coalition negotiation.

    Although it does not seem like it very often- either on here or in the ‘who shouts the loudest’ blogosphere- the hard left is basically an irrelevance when it comes to general election politics and strategy.

  41. @ Anthony Wells
    “Wow! an apostrophe rendered in the old-fashioned, double-s format.”
    It’s what having a surname that ends in an s does to you. After a while you tire of people ascribing your things to the mysterious Anthony Well.”
    —————-
    Ah ha! & here was I thinking you were merely well-educated. Still, it shows that correct punctuation prevents confusion.
    A pity you have not got a hyphenated, surname — eg. A. Tunbridge-Wells — which would bring the hyphen-phobic Amber into line.

  42. @ Rob Sheffield

    As OP’s continuously have shown now for several decades: the hard left ‘vote’ in England is around 2%
    ——————————
    And they all live in Bradford; who’d have thought it? ;-)

  43. The raw voting intention figures look quite healthy for Labour but there is some worrying data in the detail- 37% think the Tories are competent and capable despite a terrible news week. And 37% think they have clear ideas , both are very important when it comes to voting for the party you want to govern. Labour’s lead is very soft in my opinion , and I’m not a Tory.’

  44. Polls which suggest as many as 16% of people will vote for someone else than the 3 main parties are meaningless unless we know the breakdown of that 16%. How many English voters support UKIP, BNP, Green, Respect? Also, the most reliable poll is one which is conducted in say the top 200 marginal seats. What does it matter whether the Labour vote goes up in Cornwall, or the Tory vote falls in Tower Hamlets?

  45. @leftylampton

    And oddly enough, that seems to be little more than a “Big Society” re-branding of legislation that was passed by Labour.

  46. @ Old Nat

    I wanted to share some news tonight I found interesting and highly entertaining. In Maryland (where some of your relatives live), they held a Presidential Primary today. There are still a small handful of precincts left to report but the result is fascinating. Barack Obama has received more Primary votes than every single Republican candidate combined. That’s right, in an uncontested Primary where no one had absolutely any reason whatsoever to come out and vote, Obama still received more votes than all the candidates in a heavily contested Primary. For the Maryland GOP, all I can say is EPIC FAIL. Lol. :)

    Obama received more votes than all the Republicans combined in the DC Primary too but that’s to be expected when there were competitive City Council races on the ballot (what with nearly half of them under investigation or facing indictments for corruption). Or they were supposed to be close; only one, the at-large seat, was actually close. That would be something that would actually draw out voters unlike in Maryland. Marion Barry btw, a man who gets arrested about once a year on average (it’s a yearly tradition for him), won reelection handily to his Council seat.

  47. It’s about grammar, innit…

    I have noticed a tendency for some posters to use hyphens whereas technically an endash or emdash might be appropriate. (But given my range of typos etc, I am not complaining and will avoid providing names…)

    As regards apostrophes…currently it is I believe acceptable, for example, to say “Anthony Wells’ analysis”.

    More ‘complicated’ is when a noun is involved the plural of which is simply not achieved by adding an ‘s’ to the end: for example, business and businesses.

    Of course, one could simply rearrange the words to avoid such difficulty…

  48. Good Morning All.
    Holiday times.

    I have been thinking this morning about the Bradford result.

    The BBC website has an interesting article about the desertions of many Muslim voters from Labour.

    It reminds me a bit of the desertion to Fenianism from the Gladstonian Liberal Party.

  49. Mike N – I think I will try to rearrange the sentence to avoid the Grammar police.

    Rob/Lefty – I had been thinking about Rob and my posts exchanged a few days ago and both your posts on this thread are part of this debate.

    It seemed to me on refelction that Rob is more optomistic than me about Labours ability to attract the necessary slightly right of centre vote in 2015 needed to gain a OM without affecting the core vote too much.

    I agree with Rob that the politically interested small hard left will vote for the least bad option as they see it in 2015 which is Labour
    My worry though (can’t speak for LL) is that the moderatre left abstainers from 2005 and 2010 will continue to stay away and that these are the priority target for 2015; as well as retaining as many as the 2010 LD voters currently saying they will vote Labour, plus getting first time voters engaged and supporting Labour.

    Rob does say:-

    ‘EdM needs a majority at the next GE because the yellows are committed to Osbornes post 2015 heightened austerity plans and will hold out for that in any coalition negotiation.’

    Does this imply that rather than more optimistic his desire to target ‘orange bookers’ and wets derives from an understandable concern; and, therefore he reaches a different conclusion to me about which way to go as both have risks and neither of us can be sure who is right?

  50. CHRISLANE

    @”The BBC website has an interesting article about the desertions of many Muslim voters from Labour.
    It reminds me a bit of the desertion to Fenianism from the Gladstonian Liberal Party.”

    Reading the outraged comments of his last/current “wife” , as George shacks up with number four, it reminds me of the obvious attractions of islamic “marriage” laws to a man like him.

    So convenient-for men.

    Did muslim women get to vote in Bradford?

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